Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

March 20, 2022 - Third Sunday in Lent

Next Sunday:  Fourth  Sunday of Lent        Celebrant :  Fr. Williams

Pastoral Region Penance Service


The St. Ann/Sacred Heart Communal Penance Service is Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m.  Including me, there will be a total of five (5) priests hearing confessions simultaneously. 


Lenten Devotions


I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on the Friday evenings of Lent at 7:00 p.m.  (Good Friday of Holy Week is different) and Stations of the Cross during Lent on Sunday Afternoons at Sacred Heart at 3:00 p.m. 


Dietary Rules of Lent


Rules of Fasting and Abstinence are not intended to do any harm.  They are designed to make us aware of “why” we are fasting or abstaining.  The self-deprivation reminds us that Jesus died on the cross for us.  Our act of penance reminds us of who we are and why we do what we do.  During Lent, Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  Abstinence simply means “abstaining from meat.”  The flesh of mammals and birds (essentially any animal that is warm blooded) is considered meat.  The flesh of reptiles, fish (cold blooded), bird “eggs” and cheese are not considered meat.  The chicken itself is warm blooded and thus is considered meat. Anyone fourteen years of age or older who will not be physically harmed by the diet is asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent. 


We define fasting for Lenten purposes as meaning eating only one regular meal and two smaller meals or snacks, with no eating between meals.  Fasting only applies on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and then only to those between the ages of 18 and 59 who have no medical problem aggravated by the practice. 




If you have already pledged or donated; I am appreciative!  If you have not received your card in the mail, please consider taking one and filling it out with a pledge or gift.  You can put a stamp on the envelope and mail it if you wish, but I recommend simply bringing your completed envelope to Mass and dropping it in the collection basket. 

If you are filling out the informational part of the card, please be certain to include on the last line titled “parish” either St. Ann Parish Hamilton # 906 or Sacred Heart Parish Fairfield # 746.   Including the number assures us that any rebate from donation will be directed to our parishes and not to some other parish of the same name.    There are multiple parishes in our Archdiocese named Sacred Heart as well as St. Ann.  




(Wondering why I keep running this same warning week after week?  Last week, I received two calls from parishioners, one of whom was unaware of the following article.   Please remember the following:)


Remember I NEVER solicit funds, donations, favors, or any request of any kind over the telephone, text, email, carrier pigeon, drone, etc.   NEVER!  Do not allow yourself to be taken in by scammers.  Even if they have my recorded voice, be assured it is computer generated fake!  It is not me!!!   Because my recorded voice is available on the Masses we post on our YouTube channel, anyone with the right sound equipment can copy it. 


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


If you are a volunteer classroom parent in the school, a coach, drama club volunteer, scout volunteer, etc. please note that you should have been moved to the Safe Parish program.  Fulfillment of this requirement is mandatory for anyone working with children.  Please contact your parish safe environment coordination if you are uncertain whether you are registered or approved. 


Please be aware that failure to register with and complete the requirements of Safe Parish will result in your inability to continue to work with or around children in any parish and/or school setting.  We have been informed by the Archdiocese that there can be NO EXCEPTIONS.


Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week

Since I live stream both the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann; I usually manage to live stream both, but on rare occasions the internet is out at one or the other location.   If this happens, be assured that I will make every effort to correct the malfunction before the next weekend.

Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg

Reflection on Scripture:

God gives us infinite chances during our lives in this world.   But, when the last buzzer sounds, the game is over.   Jesus basically says this in today’s gospel story of the fig tree.  The gardener does not want to cut the tree down until all efforts to bring it back are exhausted.  But when every corrective measure has been applied and there is still no result; then it can be cut down.  In other words, when we exhaust all the second chances and we face judgment, we can’t change the score.  As long as you are still writing your answers to the questions and taking the test, your grade can change.  Once the test is over and the test booklets handed in; you can’t change the grade.  


Jesus gives us this somber warning so we will make the “decision of our life,” every minute of our life.  You never read John the Baptist saying, “Repent tomorrow or within a week or so.”    Don’t make eternal life a gamble couched within years of procrastination.  Don’t bet eternal life on a calculated risk!  There are no regrets in Heaven!  Only in Hell!       


NEXT WEEK (The Fourth Sunday of Lent)


Ex 3:1-8a, 10-12

1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12

Lk 13:1-9


Theme: Humility makes repentance possible.  Evidence the prodigal son!




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